The man who originated the famous ‘Sleng Teng’ rhythm, Wayne Smith, died in Jamaica on Monday, February 17. He was only 48 and had been ill for some time. Reports suggest he had recently shown signs of improvement when he suffered a fatal heart attack.
Smith will mainly be remembered for his work on the Sleng Teng rhythm, the first computerized dancehall rhythm to become a hit. The rhythm was created in 1985 when Smith and his friend Noel Davy were playing around with Davy’s Casio MT 40 keyboard. Eventually the beat was brought to King Jammy, who worked on it at the Waterhouse-based Jammy’s Studio with Davey and Smith. Smith was the first to record on the rhythm, cutting the popular Under Mi Sleng Teng. This was followed by other songs on the rhythm, such as Pumpkin Belly by Tenor Saw, Trash And Ready by Supercat, Buddy Bye by Johnny Osbourne and Call The Police by John Wayne.
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